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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Face unveiling of 2,000-year-old Mummy set Saturday at MGMoA in Shawnee - News - The Shawnee News-Star - Shawnee, OK

Face unveiling of 2,000-year-old Mummy set Saturday at MGMoA in Shawnee

The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art will unveil the 3D facial reconstruction of their Egyptian mummy, Tutu on Saturday, September 7 at 6:30pm.

The event will feature Egyptian inspired d├ęcor, food, drink, and music. The Callen Clarke Trio will perform with an oud and other Arabic instruments. Chef Matthew Johnson will be preparing the Egyptian style foods including falafel and chicken shawarma. Dr. Foy Scalf will present the lecture, Body-Brokers in Ptolemaic Egypt: The Life and Afterlife of Tutu and Her Mummy. Dr. Scalf is the Head of the Research Archives at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. This event is for members only. For information about membership, please visit or call 405-878-5604.

Dr. Scalf said of his lecture, "This is the story of a woman named Tutu and her experience in ancient Egypt. When she died at the end of the second century BC near a city named Hawara in Egypt, dramatic changes were taking place under the governance of Ptolemaic pharaohs from Macedonia. She lived in the region of the Fayum, spotted with lush lakes and canals where the administration had focused intense immigration, settlement, land reclamation, and agriculture over the preceding century. Along with these changes came a boon for the necropolis workers who produced, transported, and buried mummies from around the region; hundreds of documents from their archives, documenting their practices, exist to this day. This talk will look at Tutu's life in the Fayum during this period, what happened after she died, and what cultural changes were taking place as Egypt slid closer to becoming a Roman province."

"We get to see Tutu's face for the first time in 2,000 years," said Dane Pollei, Director & Chief Curator of the Museum. "People will be able to really connect to Tutu now that they can see her face." He added, "This is really icing on the cake for our fantastic centennial year."

Dr. Jonathan Elias created the 3D bust of Tutu using a 3D printed skull based on her 2015 CT scans from SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital Shawnee. An editing process is necessary to remove surface contours which are picked up by the CT scan but are not part of the facial skeleton, such as resin and bandages glued to the facial surface during the embalming process. Then, 34 markers are attached to the skull to represent muscle groups. The positioning of these markers is based on studies of modern Egyptians. Clay is then built up around the face using the Manchester Method. Plastic anatomically-proportional forensic eyes are set into the sockets and clay is built up around them. The length of the nose is determined using a measurement projection methodology developed for this purpose by Prokopec and Ubelaker. The later stages involve fine tuning of the sculptural forms for realism and development of the hair style prior to creation of the rubber mold and casting steps which make the final display sculpture.

Later, the bust will be integrated into the main gallery along with an updated interactive about mummification, Ancient Egypt, and specifically the museum's two mummies.

The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is located on the OBU Green campus, 1900 W. MacArthur St. in Shawnee. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors age 65 or older, $3 for students and children ages 6 to 17, and free for children age 5 and younger. Visit for more information.

This project is funded in part by the Avedis Foundation, Oklahoma Humanities (OH), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.

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